The Most Jaw-Dropping Things We Learned From Peacock's New Prince Andrew Documentary

Peacock's new documentary "Prince Andrew: Banished" is a brutal takedown of the disgraced son of Queen Elizabeth II told in a new way. The blistering documentary mixes new first-hand interviews with archival footage to weave a doozy of a story about the Duke of York. Peacock's synopsis of the doc describes Andrew's "antics throughout his career as a Royal brought scandal and disgrace to the 1200-year legacy of the British Royal Family." Beloved Netflix hit "The Crown" claimed Andrew was Queen Elizabeth II's favorite child, and this documentary shows how the 62-year-old prince behaved before his involvement with sex offenders Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

As Andrew's scandal is about to take over headlines yet again, the "Banished" director Jamie Crawford talked to Vanity Fair about why the documentary is unique. "Often you imagine that the contemporary story is where you're going to find really fascinating stuff," Crawford explained. "Actually [Banished] is reverse in a way — it starts with the contemporary story that everybody knows. But the really fascinating stuff in this project is his life leading up to that." The interviews and tales of Andrew's bad decisions over the years show why he was a perfect patsy for Epstein.

Buckle in and learn the most jaw-dropping things from Peacock's documentary, "Prince Andrew: Banished."

Prince Andrew treated like 'a little king'

In "Prince Andrew: Banished," Majesty Magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward explained, "He [Andrew] was the beginning of what the Queen and Prince Philip called their second family . . . When Andrew was born, she was determined to see more of this little boy than she had her other two children." Seward described that Elizabeth became queen when Charles and Anne were so young, and they were "really left in the care of nannies." Queen Elizabeth II wanted to be a different mother with her second son and Seward said, "Andrew was treated like a little king. He was very spoiled." For example, when he was three, Andrew got his own Aston Martin, a mini-sized version of the car James Bond drove.

The transformation of King Charles III is remarkable, in part because he was bullied growing up. Unlike his sensitive brother, Andrew was "one of the lads." Seward said, "Prince Philip loved this boy. He was everything Charles hadn't been. So he had even more attention lavished on him." The Majesty Magazine editor said Andrew loved his "mini-kingship" for years and the prince lorded his role as the favorite over others. Dickie Arbiter, former royal press secretary, told the interviewer, "Andrew has always had this sort of holier-than-thou, 'I'm greater than everybody else, the Queen is my mum' attitude."

War hero Prince Andrew 'couldn't keep his trousers closed'.

Prince Andrew served in the Royal Navy for 22 years and was a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War in 1982. The prince became a war hero, putting the handsome royal in the global spotlight. Andrew became a ladies' man, fueling his already large ego. In "Prince Andrew: Banished," journalist Helen Kirwan-Taylor said, "The talk of the dinner parties was he couldn't keep his trousers closed." Royal author Phil Dampier told interviewers, "He's never smoked or taken drugs or drunk alcohol, but his big thing is sex." The Guardian noted the Duke of York's nickname was "Randy Andy." The prince's war hero days kicked off a lifetime of womanizing that was so frequent that some claimed Andrew was a sex addict.

A former royal officer lifted the lid on Andrew's behavior. In "Banished," former Royal protection officer Paul Page said, "We used to joke that he should have a revolving door in his bedroom. The number of women coming in and out of there, literally every other day someone came to see him . . . a different one each time." 

Prince Andrew banished Fergie to please Prince Philip

The Peacock documentary claims that Andrew, Duke of York banished his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, because of his dad. The royal couple married in 1986, but the Duchess of York was unhappy. Andrew and Fergie only saw each other 40 days in their first year of marriage. When Fergie had an affair, the tabloids caught her sunbathing topless and making out with her financial adviser. In "Prince Andrew: Banished," journalist Annette Witheridge "The pictures of Fergie went 'round the world. The public was shocked . . . And the royal family were totally disgusted." In the documentary, Royal expert Tina Brown said, "Once those pictures had come out, Prince Philip refused to even be in the same room as Sarah. And, Andrew was very weak when it came to his father, because he has no agency of his own. Essentially, he allowed Fergie to be sort of banished."

Despite Prince Philip's disapproval, Queen Elizabeth's relationship with Sarah was good, and Andrew and his ex-wife continued to live together at the Royal Lodge.

Prince Andrew's shady deals as ambassador

After he left the Royal Navy, the transformation of Prince Andrew from war hero to shady businessman happened quickly. In 2001, the prince became Britain's "special envoy for trade," an unpaid ambassador gig. "Prince Andrew: Banished" follows how the Duke of York turned his government job into a way to earn millions while traveling the globe, as British taxpayers paid $1.1 million a year in expenses. Simon Wilson, Britain's former deputy ambassador in Bahrain, told "Banished" interviewers about Andrew's luxury travel. Wilson said the Duke of York traveled with "a private secretary, two detectives, an equerry, a lady clerk . . . whose sole job apparently is to write thank-you letters."

During the prince's ten years as "special envoy," there were many allegations of shady transactions. But one of Andrew's deals stands out. "Banished" reported the Duke of York sold his Sunninghill Park estate to a Kazakh oligarch for a whopping $3.4 million over the asking price in 2007. Sunninghill Park was a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth. In 2011, The Daily Beast reported that the prince quit his government job under a cloud of scandal.

'Banished' frames Prince Andrew as a narcissist and predator

"Prince Andrew: Banished" claims the relationship between Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell went deeper than many realized. The documentary frames Andrew more as a predator than the mainstream media has reported. In its review of the documentary, The Daily Beast reported Epstein "provided Andrew with lots and lots of young girls." Journalist Helen Kirwan-Taylor explained, "Without all the trade envoy perks, he needed Epstein." The Duke of York didn't have a way to fund his luxury lifestyle, and the infamous financier offered him a way to access private jets and exotic mansions. Most of all, Epstein and Maxwell supplied the prince with women.

Kirwan-Taylor said Andrew was very needy and wanted to feel important, and Epstein was his "enabler." Kirwan-Taylor offered a darker take on the prince, telling interviewers, "It's acquired situational narcissism. And it means you may not have been born a flaming narcissist, but you become one. And I think that's what happened to Prince Andrew." Tina Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair, said, "There was something inevitable about the downfall of Andrew after he came into the orbit of Jefrey Epstein." Brown added that meeting Epstein was the point of no return for Andrew.

Former royal aide says Prince Andrew is an idiot

In "Prince Andrew: Banished," former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter has a simple take on Prince Andrew's behavior. "The problem is, the man's an idiot," Arbiter explained. The former royal aide added, "There's always one runt of the litter, and Andrew was it." Still, the queen's second son had some odd hobbies. Andrew's former maid opened up about his behind-the-scenes behavior, spilling the tea about his stuffed bear collection.

Journalist Helen Kirwan-Taylor told interviewers, "Prince Andrew thought he was more than a royal. I think he thought he was more of a celebrity." Nina Metz of The Chicago Tribune summed up why the documentary is so troubling by tweeting: "There is something powerfully unsettling to see it all assembled in one place. It's damning not only of Andrew but of those who enabled him."